Platform: Android, iOS
If you were to tell ten-year olds in the early ‘90s that they would one day be playing “Dr. Mario” on their phone, they probably would have laughed at you. However, a few moments after turning on “Dr. Mario World”—video game behemoth Nintendo’s latest foray into mobile gaming—everything just feels right, and why wouldn’t it? After all, dozens of other puzzle games from years past, like “Tetris” and “Bejeweled,” have translated to the mobile platform extremely well.
The good news is that the Dr. Mario formula works, for the most part, perfectly on a smartphone. In “Dr. Mario World,” you take on the role of Mario — though later on you will get the choice of choosing between Luigi, Princess Peach, or Bowser — who is attempting to heal the denizens the Mushroom Kingdom through, on the surface, a simple color-matching game. Its challenges ramp up at a leisurely pace at first, but there is a sharp difficulty spike after you complete the first set of levels. While much of “Dr. Mario World” feels right, the bad news is that Nintendo opted to load the game up with microtransactions. While it is free to download and play, your progress will slow to a crawl if you do not invest real money into your experience.
Those complaints aside, “Dr. Mario World” is a fun, polished puzzle game that is perfect for short lunch breaks, bus rides, and relaxing after a long day.